“Resident Evil: Afterlife,” the fourth film in the science-fiction series, was the top-grossing movie in the U.S. and Canada this past weekend, generating $27.7 million in ticket sales for Sony Corp.
“Takers,” which is also from Sony, finished second, moving up the rankings from its third-place finish last week, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said yesterday in an e- mailed statement.
“Resident Evil,” the weekend’s only wide release, stars Milla Jovovich as a warrior who tries to shepherd a band of humans to safety in a world overrun by zombies. The first three movies averaged $47.3 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada and $126.5 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. This weekend had the lowest ticket sales this year, Hollywood.com Box-Office said.
“Sony took tremendous advantage of, what is typically one of the slowest weekends of the year, which is the post-Labor Day weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com Box-Office, in a telephone interview. “Sony found that sweet spot” and “worked it.”
It was the fifth time this year a Sony film topped the weekend chart, according to Hollywood.com Box-Office. The company’s $922.3 million in 2010 sales through Sept. 9 puts it fifth among the major Hollywood studios, according to Box Office Mojo’s website.
The “Resident Evil” films are based on the video game from Osaka, Japan-based Capcom Co. The film was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who also directed the original “Resident Evil,” released in 2002.
“Takers,” which finished second, had receipts of $6.1 million. The film features singer Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen, who are part of a group of bank robbers being chased by a veteran detective played by Matt Dillon.
George Clooney’s spy drama “The American” dropped to third from first place with $5.9 million. In the Focus Features film, Clooney plays an assassin who is hiding out in Italy between assignments. His circumstances become more perilous after he is asked to build a weapon for another hit.
Fox’s “Machete” fell to fourth from second with $4.2 million. In the movie, Danny Trejo plays a former Mexican police officer who seeks revenge against a group that betrayed him. The Robert Rodriguez action film co-stars Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro and Don Johnson.
‘Going the Distance’
“Going the Distance” was fifth again this week with $3.84 million. In the romantic comedy by Warner Bros. Pictures, Drew Barrymore and Justin Long play a pair of 30-somethings trying to sustain a bicoastal relationship.
Weekend sales for the top 12 films fell 10.8 percent to $68 million from $76.2 million in the year-ago period, Hollywood.com said. Year-to-date receipts total $7.81 billion, up 3.94 percent from $7.51 billion. Attendance has fallen 1.6 percent this year.